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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

Meadow-X v. 2.0

Chapter Four

"Good morning, Doctor McCoy," said Magnus.

"I spanked the funky winkerbeans," Hank replied, gazing deeply at the floor. He was lying on his front, entranced by the sparkles in the linoleum.

"I don't suppose there is any chance the extract has worn off?" Magnus continued.

Hank rolled over and sat up. "Watermelons! Watermelons!" he shrieked before running out of the room as if his fur was on fire.

"Obviously not."

Magnus set himself to preparing a nourishing breakfast of oatmeal with a side of sausages because he was a firm believer in the value of a good meal to start the day.

"I say," a voice around ground level said. "Is there any chance of a bagel?"

Without looking at the speaker, Magnus retrieved two poppyseed bagels and sliced them. Cream cheese was applied. The bagels were put on a plate and set on the floor.

"Thank you so much." the voice said.

A scraping noise told Magnus that the plate had been taken away. He let his breath out with a hiss. That was too close. One of the reasons the Master of Magnetism was still in possession of his faculties after four days of exposure to whatever element had driven most of the X-Men around the bend was that he had managed so far not to actively think about certain things such as basselopes or the psychotropic properties of dandelions.

A light tenor coming down the hall heralded the approach of Bobby Drake. Magnus had to concede that Lola Granola was a nice girl, for a modern artist. Bobby had taken a very strong interest in the arts because of their relationship but that was harmless enough.

"Good morning, Mags!" Bobby said cheerfully. He had a beret on his head.

"And you to you, Robert," Magnus allowed. "What's on your agenda for today?"

Bobby pulled out his favorite cereal which was guaranteed to not have any nutritional content, "I'm helping Lola set up for her exhibition. Then tonight, I have a recital."

"Which instrument do you play?" Magnus approved of music as a pastime. It was appropriately wholesome and encouraged discipline.

"Oh, I'm a poet. Did you want to hear one of the pieces I'm reading?"

Poetry, Magnus considered. Dante. Shakespeare. Yeats. Who knew Robert had such depths? He nodded to the young bard. "Certainly."

Bobby stood up and declaimed,
"Spam lies on the plate,
Surrounded by frozen peas.
Diner looks askance."

He smiled hopefully. "What did you think?"

"I've never heard anything quite like it," Magnus said honestly.

Pete Wisdom, former Black Air agent and generally miserable cynic, approached the front doors of the Xavier mansion as if they were the gates of Hell. He had left the dangers of espionage behind in favor the dangers of hanging about with a group of nominal superheroes. Occasionally he wondered why. After all, he wasn't being paid and people kept trying to get him to wear spandex. Pete didn't wear spandex. Ever. Not since that unfortunate incident back in Black Air training with the yogurt.

He glanced around. The admittedly impressive grounds were too quiet. What with all the people living here there should be at least some noise. He cursed transatlantic communications, difficult girlfriends, and Life in general. Why his Kitty had summarily announced she was staying in the States, nobody knew. The only thing left was for him to get the story out of her.

The former spy flicked his cigarette into a nearby planter, rang the doorbell and waited.

A minute or two later, Pete noticed a smell in the air. He looked over at the small fire burning merrily in the planter.


The door opened. Magneto was on the other side. Pete stared. Damn! Magneto had taken out the X-Men! No wonder Kitty hadn't answered his communications. This was now a situation! The small self-preservation oriented part of his brain started babbling about how hot knives wouldn't really add to his chances of survival. But being the cool collected intelligence type what he said was:

"Aren't you dead?"

Magnus eyed the rumpled Englishman critically. He really would have to have a word with Kitty once things were sorted out.

"I got better."

Pete ambled through the mansion, drink in one hand and cigarette in the other. The X-Men who hadn't gone insane were drinking like they never planned to see sobriety again. It was amazing. And to think he thought he wouldn't enjoy his visit.

He wound his way down to the lowest sub-basement. The experimental computer lab housed all sorts of illegal, alien-derived toys that were kept under strict lock and key. Pete paused in the doorway, head tilted to one side as he caught a hint of His Kitty's Voice.

She was giggling. Breathlessly. "Oh, Oliver! That was so good!"

"It was nothing," a young male voice demurred.

Shite, Pete thought instantly.

"I've never seen anyone get that much performance out their hard drive before," Kitty cooed further to her unknown paramour. "The response time is amazing."

Bloody buggering hell. He'd show her some response times! Steeling himself against any possible array of sickening displays, Pete kicked the door open. Or at least he tried to. The motion detector opened the door automatically, leaving him with one leg flailing in space before he worked out that he should put it down again.

The computer lab was in that specific disorder that instantly confused anyone except the select few who under stood the order in the chaos. Instead of the torrid scene he had half-expected, Pete was treated to the sight of Kitty fussing over a yellow box in the company of some black git with big eyeglasses.

"Hey, Pryde," he began.

Kitty spun around and smiled. "Pete! I'm so glad you're here!"

That was a bit better, his ego noted approvingly.

Pete's happiness was short-lived. Kitty had nothing on her mind except the complicated mess around the yellow computer. The computer had feet, which Pete found vaguely worrying. Her new friend was introduced as Oliver Wendell Jones and he seemed nice enough for a girlfriend-stealing git. Pete listened with simmering irritation as they twittered on about stack space and access times. He had to corner Jones alone.

The opportunity finally arrived when Jean telepathically called Kitty to help with lunch. Pete accepted a quick peck on the cheek as better than nothing before she bounced out. The doors had barely closed before Pete was across the room and glaring down at Jones. The small scientist backed up against the wall.

"Is there something wrong, Mister Wisdom?" Oliver asked timidly.

"What's going on between you and Pryde?" Pete demanded.

Oliver stared unhappily at the floor. "Nothing. I think Kitty only likes me for, uh,"

"For what? Spit it out, you little wanker," Pete snapped.

"My equipment." Oliver admitted quietly.

Pete's jaw dropped. I always made sure she was satisfied, he reminded himself quickly.

"Damn, you Yanks are blunt, aren't you?"

Oliver looked towards the yellow computer. "Kitty's obsessed with my banana junior."

Pete glared at the offending device.

She likes me better, the computer smugly displayed on its screen.

Okay, that's it, Pete thought. Hot knives formed at his fingertips.


Continued in Chapter Five

The text of Bobby's touching haiku is by Keith and is archived at


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